Las Cruces – A state commission has voted not to change a system that allocates most pronghorn hunting licenses in New Mexico to private landowners instead of the public.
The 4-3 state Game Commission vote on Thursday rejected concerns raised by the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and many of its members. They advocated changing the rules to move more licenses into the state's public lottery system so New Mexico residents get more permits.
Game commissioners say they were worried that private landowners who now get about 70 percent of all licenses will withdraw their lands from hunting without the permits.
Landowners sell many permits to out-of-state residents.
The Las Cruces Sun reports that about half of all permits end up with out-of-state residents. About 5,500 pronghorn hunting licenses were issued in 2008-2009.
Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, http://www.lcsun-news.com
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.